Rapid intraclonal switch of lineage dominance in congenital leukaemia with a MLL gene rearrangement

Leukemia. 1995 Dec;9(12):2023-6.


We describe a case of neonatal mixed lineage leukaemia which presented with a dominant B progenitor lymphoblast population plus a minor monocytic component. Treatment of the patient with corticosteroid and Ara-C resulted in loss of lymphoblasts and a rapid (within 7 days) increase and dominance of the monocytic component. The common clonal origin of the two cell types was evident from the identical rearrangement in the MLL gene and a shared rearrangement of one IGH allele. In common with other neonatal or infant ALL with MLL gene rearrangements, this leukaemia may have originated in a common B-monocytic lineage stem cell during foetal haemopoiesis. The observations further suggest that the therapeutic impact of the MLL gene rearrangement is to some extent dependent on the cellular context in which it is expressed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Rearrangement*
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia / congenital
  • Leukemia / genetics*
  • Leukemia / metabolism
  • Male
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • KMT2A protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase